*Above: Liow informing the media of his decision to give up his vehicle registration number during a press conference after Parliament sitting Monday.
PETALING JAYA - Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai is giving up his WWW 15 vehicle registration number to the highest bidder.
Liow reiterated that he did not bid or tender for the number, but his office had requested it to be used for the minister's official car.
"My office received an official letter dated June 6 from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) confirming the free registration number.
"As I now know there was bidding for this number, it is only right that I do not exercise my option. The number should go to the highest bidder," he said yesterday.
The matter came under scrutiny last month when he said he did not pay for the number. His name appeared on a list by JPJ bearing his name and a RM24,200 (S$9750) bid for the number.
JPJ later clarified that ministers were entitled to free registration plates as agreed to between the Government and the department.
Liow was given three options by JPJ get the number plate for free, pay the bid amount, or reject the offer.
At the Parliament lobby yesterday, Liow expressed his frustration with the uproar over the issue and the "uncalled for" criticisms levelled against him.
He said every minister could apply to JPJ for a number plate to be used on his official car, but they could only do this once.
He added that he was unaware that his office had applied for the number using his name.